TSL Lighting joined the Light It In Red campaign on Monday 6 July, bathing its Gatwick and Basingstoke premises with light as part of the ‘red alert’ initiative lobbying the government to ramp up support for the arts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Light It In Red galvanised the entertainment technology industry to come together to loudly state that they cannot be ignored and warn that without financial aid, the supply chain for live entertainment and events is heading for catastrophe. The move comes in the weeks before the government’s furlough scheme is due to end, which is regarded by many as a potential ‘cliff edge’.
“It’s vital that we show solidarity with industry and raise awareness of the dire situation,” said TSL’s Loz Wilcox. “The supply chain does so much for theatre, TV and events and it goes without saying that the arts have been invaluable during lockdown, giving us streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and so on. Now, the foundation of the businesses that contribute to producing much of that content is at risk. TSL is a proud member of our industry and we are working to support and lobby for positive action in any way we can.”
Theatres and production hubs across the country took part in the Light It In Red scheme, which came as the government announced a financial aid package for the arts after months of pressure.
“The money is fantastic news, but detail on how it will be spent is still pending and there’s so much that needs to be done to secure not just the future of the venues, but all of the companies and people who make it happen,” Wilcox continued.
As much of TSL’s extensive lighting stock remains in its warehouses due to the shutdown, Wilcox gave the TSL crews free rein to use their fixtures to achieve the most striking and powerful looks on the buildings.
The company also sent a crew to light up the Identity Event Management warehouse just outside Eastbourne in Sussex, and the PLASA and LSi premises, also in the town.
Claire Beeson, editor of LSi magazine, said: “We are proud to support the #LightItInRed campaign in solidarity with many in the live events and entertainment industry still needing vital support from government. Huge thanks to the teams at Identity and TSL Lighting who mobilised quickly and efficiently to assist us in illuminating our Eastbourne HQ and helping us to spread this important message. It was really moving to be part of such a widespread movement alongside some of the UK’s most iconic venues and landmarks. Let’s hope the government takes notice!”
Peter Heath, MD of PLASA, commented: “While the government’s rescue package indicates some progression in addressing the UK’s cultural catastrophe, there is still a vast amount of more tailored support needed. There are hundreds of hidden people involved in live productions, outside of theatres, who are not being taken into consideration and do not know when they will be returning to work. The #LightItInRed campaign is a warning to the government, that we can expect the production ecosystem to collapse before spring next year unless we see an extension of the self-employed scheme, at the very least.”
The Light It In Red idea was created and managed by Clearsound Productions in partnership with the Backstage Theatre Jobs forum.
The collective of companies that participated are lobbying for grants to be made available to businesses in the events supply chain, and extended furlough scheme until the live entertainment industry is back to work, and extension of the self-employment scheme tailored towards the industry.